Writing Techniques in The Master of Ballantrae

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As he often does, Stevenson depends on the naive narrator for his plot development. Ephraim Mackellar, of course, knows only what he sees and hears (and, to a degree, what he can deduce from this evidence); so, the reader "sees" the events and the people through the typically sympathetic vision of the loyal old family retainer.

Mackellar tries to accept the ungoverned behavior of James, but his fondness for Henry and his admiration for this long-suffering man impel the narrator to take sides (and, he is so fair in his judgments and reports that the reader must agree with him, no matter how "charming" the Master often appears) and to condemn a person to whom he would have been loyal to the death otherwise.

The interpolated reports from Burke do interrupt the flow of the narrative somewhat, but they provide (in an appropriately breezy style) information about James's doings...

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This section contains 211 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Buy The Master of Ballantrae Short Guide
Copyrights
Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction and Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults
The Master of Ballantrae from Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction and Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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